Designers have trade secrets. They know decorating is a process that is never really done. But they also know lots of tips and sage advice for
Today is Practically Speaking were we tackle decor issues straight on!
Today it’s about keeping our homes in style and beautiful using designer secrets! And here are my favorite designer tips to use in your home!
Designers LOVE style and magazines are filled with gorgeous rooms done in breathtaking colors with plush furniture adorned with high end and expensive fabrics. Everything in those
There has to be a way to decorate a room so it can look beautiful, stay within budget, be updated and welcoming and look fresh and relevant for years. Or is this just wishing on a star?
We can’t be pie-in-the-sky when it comes to decorating. Decorating is work! We must more often than not compromise on the things we wish we could have in our homes. The hard reality is many of us settle for what we can afford! I said this is Practically Speaking! But that does not mean we can’t live beautifully! And be surrounded by a lovely home.
Our goal as homemakers (oh, is that politically incorrect now?) is to create a warm, clean, welcoming sanctuary for our families and have a place we can share fellowship with others too! And most of us like to do it in style! Our style!
Here are some savvy ways to keep your home looking and feeling its decorated best straight from the pro’s!
PAINT EVERYTHING NEUTRAL
I know you hear me talk about my LOVE for painting! Painting the walls, ceilings, woodworks, floors and just about everything in my home. So you must know how important I think it is to keep your home clean and fresh with paint. A paintbrush is your magic wand and paint the magic pixie dust!
But have you thought about painting your home with neutrals? Soft whites, just-a-hint-of-color beige, a warm-tone gray, an earthy camel?
This will update your home like nothing else! Decide on a color palette for the walls and woodwork in your home and get busy.
Designers know how light neutral walls are the perfect foil for all your furnishings and accents. Even if you love color neutral walls will enhance the colorful things you have.
Our Tanglewood House is painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Both walls and woodwork. And oh how I want to paint the floors white too!
But if white is not your things, then choose another neutral. There are literally thousands of neutral colors to pick from.
KEEP HIGH TICKET ITEMS CLASSIC AND NEUTRAL
You will want to keep the furniture that costs the most in your home looking on trend and guarded, to some degree, from looking dated. The design professionals know traditional and classic furniture lines are the way to go! They stay in style longer!
And other more on-trend furnishings go splendidly with classic furniture! N
And here my best advice…
Only spend as much as the years you are willing to live with something.
Let me say this again…
Only spend as much as the years you are willing to live with something.
What I mean by this is if you only want to live with a chair for five years spend only enough for it so at the end of five years you are willing to let it go if you want and get something new.
This sweet chair above only cost a couple hundred dollars. It’s very well made and I’ve had it in so many rooms in StoneGable and in Tanglewood! I have gotten more than my $$ worth! I still have it in my study now. But if and when I get tired of it I won’t feel bad letting it go!
Everything has an expiration date. This is a good thing to remember. So spend money on decor that has a longer one! And be thrifty on decor that has a short expiration date!
I’ve talked to too many friends, clients, and readers who have beautiful yet dated expensive furniture.
They are very hesitant to replace it even though they don’t like it anymore. The problem… they paid a lot for it!
This makes me heartsick! I know, I did that too and I vowed when I let go of my old furniture I would not ever do that again!
Let’s face it, styles change and so do we. You don’t have the same hairstyle and clothes you did in high school, right? Right? Or the same car? Things wear out and let’s be perfectly honest here, we get tired of the same old same old!
Times have changed and we should not keep the same furnishings for our adult lives unless we really, really want to.
KEEP YOUR HOME TRENDY WITH ACCENTS
Designers have lots of secrets for keeping a home looking up to date. And we need to use those secrets in our homes.
One thing I picked up from the decorating pros is to change up the accents in my home. I
I don’t spend a lot on things like paintings and pricy pottery. It’s okay by me to use baskets on my walls instead of art and fool-the-eye downright cheap pottery or bargain store picture frames and other small items. When I’m tired of them or feel like my style might be changing I can remove what I have and add a few new things! And have no guilt at all!
THE HIGH AND LOW MIX
Now, here’s my favorite designer secret. This is my trademark move! I’ve saved the best for last!
Invest in what can’t be faked and fake the rest!
I call this the High/Low mix and it works wonders!
Here’s an example… the fuzzy white long pillow on my bed cost more than the headboard!
I just could not find a less expensive version of the Mongolian pillow. This pillow was worth investing in (although it was not too very expensive). I did buy a long faux Mongolian pillow for the bed but it did not pass muster! It did not have the high-end look I was after.
So I returned it and bit the bullet for the real deal. The Mongolian pillow is the centerpiece of the bed. This pillow would bring a high-end look to any bed or sofa in my home. And I’m sure you will see it in different rooms if you are a regular reader!
There are so many padded headboards on the market I opted for a very reasonably priced one with great tufting detail! No one will ever know the headboard is not designer but you and me!
Just don’t think of pairing more costly items with cheaper ones. Think about finding a “look alike”! Look for home decor items that mimic their more expensive
Mix refined “high” items with more rustic or “low” things! This look is my signature. I love high-end mixed with a touch of softly worn comfortable furnishings. My home’s decor is all about juxtaposition.
Here are a few other designer secrets for your home
- don’t neglect to replace furnishings and accents as they get worn out, look tired, or out of date. It’s easier to be doing a little bit continually than have to makeover an entire room all at once. And a lot less money in the long run!
- don’t fill your rooms with lots of furniture and collectibles. A
wellcurate room looks fresher and more up to date- remember less is more
- if you have wall to wall carpeting layer an updated rug over it
- paint dated wood furniture
- so many people hold onto furniture they don’t really love because decades ago they paid a lot of $$$ for it- change out pieces a few at a time
- use lots of texture instead of color- this look lasts longer
- no matter what decorators say, YOU have the final say! Live with what you love and the things that work for you and your family!
Get started! Work towards creating rooms in your home that look beautiful and up to date for years to come!